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Greg Leitich Smith Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

Born 1994. Education: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.A. (electrical engineering), 1989; University of Texas, Austin, M.A. (electrical engineering), 1991; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, J.D., 1974. Hobbies and other interests: Running.

Greg Leitich Smith


Office—P.O. Box 3255, Austin TX, 78764. Agent—Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown, Ltd., 10 Astor Place, New York, NY 10003.


Writer and patent attorney. Speaker; workshop instructor in Austin, TX.


Authors Guild, Author's League of America, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Writers League of Texas.

Honors Awards

Junior Library Guild selection, and Parents' Choice Gold Award, both 2003, both for Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo.


Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo, Little Brown (Boston, MA), 2003.

Work in Progress

A new novel, expected 2005.


Patent attorney Greg Leitich Smith balances his work in the law with his second career as a children's book author. The husband of children's author Cynthia Leitich Smith, Smith successfully published his first children's novel, Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo, in 2003. Having always loved to read while growing up, Smith became inspired to begin writing when his wife, who also studied law, began penning children's books. "I've always been an avid reader and thought that, perhaps someday, when I retired, I could write. When Cynthia began to write, I decided, why wait?" he stated in an interview with Debbie Michiko Florence posted on Debbimichikoflorence.com.

Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo follows the story of three very unique friends who find themselves in a Shakespearian-style love triangle. Honoria, who has a unique fascination with bugs, is enamored of Shohei. Shohei in the meantime is being pestered by his adoptive parents to become better acquainted with his Japanese heritage, while at the same time, anonymously e-mailing Honoria in hopes of cultivating a romance between her and their mutual friend Elias. Elias, when he is not pining for Honoria, finds himself battling his science teacher, Mr. Eden. Having taught Elias's brilliant older siblings, Mr. Eden is exceptionally demanding and unreasonable when it comes to not-quite-as-brilliant Elias. Despite their tangled courtships, individual turmoils, and a pivotal science fair, the three friends will unite and triumph together.

Reviewing Smith's children's book debut, Hilary Williamson commented in BookLoons Reviews online that "It's especially nice to see a story that celebrates brainy kids and their accomplishments—Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo is altogether a brilliant read." Donna M. Knott also complimented Smith's novel, writing in School Library Journal that the story provides readers with "a fresh, unusual story of friendship and honesty, riddled with wit, intelligence, and more than a few chuckles." In Booklist, Louise Brueggemann noted that "Smith achieves just the right balance of intelligent wit and drama," while a Publishers Weekly contributor enthused that the "sparkling" Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo is enlivened by "three seventh-grade narrators, each of them precocious, intelligent and wickedly funny."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, December 1, 2003, Louise Brueggemann, review of Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo, p. 669.

Kliatt, November, 2003, Claire Rosser, review of Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo, p. 10.

Publishers Weekly, November 17, 2003, review of Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo, p. 65.

School Library Journal, January, 2004, Donna M. Knott, review of Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo, p. 134.


Bookloons Reviews Online, http://www.bookloons.com/ (February 6, 2004), Hilary Williamson, review of Ninjas, Prianhas, and Galileo.

Debbi Michiko Florence: Writer and Bibliophile, http://www.debbimichikoflorence.com/ (August 18, 2004), Debbi Michiko Florence, interview with Greg Leitich Smith.

Greg Leitich Smith Web site, http://www.gregleitichsmith.com/ (February 6, 2004).

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